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Ex-bank official pleads guilty Tuesday to embezzlement

Press-News Journal of Canton, Missouri

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A Monticello woman pled guilty to federal embezzlement charges, United States Attorney Catherine L. Hanaway announced Tuesday, February 3.

Leona Hinton, 62, Monticello pled guilty to one felony count of embezzlement. She appeared before United States District Judge Henry Autrey, Tuesday in St. Louis.

Between 1993 and 2003, Hinton, who was a Senior Vice President of the Bank of Monticello, embezzled approximately $43,821 from the Bank.

Hinton now faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and/or fines up to $1,000,000, when she is sentenced on April 30, 2009.

Hanaway commended the work on the case by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lewis County Sheriff's Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and First Assistant United States Attorney Michael W. Reap, who is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Bank of Monticello, President Virgil Welker issued the following statement:

"Leona Hinton's indictment and guilty plea is a disappointing and sad occasion for the Bank of Monticello. I want to emphasize that the activities addressed in Mrs. Hinton's indictment have had no material impact on the Bank of Monticello or our ability to service our customer's needs in any way, nor is there any evidence any customer accounts were compromised.

"The Bank of Monticello was and continues to be well capitalized, having almost twice the capital required by our regulators. We are dedicated to serving our community and will continue to offer the full-service banking products and services we have provided for over 80 years."

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Original Publication Date: February 5, 2009

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